Flying with a gamepad, coming from APM to PX4

Hi all, Hope this is the right place to put this

I am transitioning over to PX4 from APM, honestly I love APM but it doesn’t support all of what I want to do with this quadcopter

I am running a home built copter with the pixhawk 2.1 cube, and currently transmitting data over a 915mhz SIK mRo radio to a receiver connected to a Rpi, which is connected to wifi and then bounced back to a Motorola Z3 phone and moto mod game pad.

I have full ability to connect my gamepad to the drone via QGC, but the only thing I cannot figure out is why my throttle inputs don’t do anything. I have not yet flown this aircraft in this setup, but I anticipate it will fly alright as it did with APM and the Spektrum Dx9.

I can arm and disarm the drone with the game pad, the motors spin, and I can switch flight modes, as well as see all of my game pad inputs on the QGC screen which is on my phone. But even when throttling up, the motors will not spin any faster than idle. I can verify that the input is being transmitted as the bar on my QGC raises and lowers with throttle accel or decel.

Also: with APM, I consistently flew in Loiter mode (position and altitude hold mode)
which mode is most like that in Px4? it looks like position mode is just GPS posi and not altitude, and alti hold is just alti and not position? I am confused on which one to use or if I should select a different mode to fly in.

Any input would be appreciated

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